English: Fafner of the Blue Sky
Synonyms: Fafner in the Azure: Dead Aggressor
Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Jul 5, 2004 to Dec 27, 2004
Duration: 24 min. per episode
Rating: PG-13 - Teens 13 or olderL represents licensing company
Score: 7.461 (scored by 5574 users)
1 indicates a weighted score
2 based on the top anime page.
Popular Tagsaction drama mecha
Apr 7, 2008
Story: The story began with a paradise-like environment, but it quickly turned into a scene of chaotic desperateness. With tons of downhill battles to begin the story, it certainly illustrates how desperate the situation is for the protagonists (and the small group of humans living on that remote island). For a mecha anime, it is not very common to start the story the way Fafner did.
Art: The animation is directed by the same guy whose responsible for Gundam SEED and Destiny. So it is only natural that people see similarities between characters (for example, I find Kazuki very much like Shinn). With that being said, I find it a bit lacking in originality so minus 1!
Sound: Absolutely stunning. The battle music is very unique and alive! I especially love the drum beat. The OP and ED are by Angela (who sang FFXII's opening).
Character: Most character development occurred during the 2nd half of the anime (when things become less gloomy), which was a good thing because there was no room in the first half to fit those in with all the intense battles and basic background storying telling. Again minus -1 for some unoriginal character design.
Enjoyment + Overall: Although it was hardly advertised (ie. lack of media attention), Fafner's success was undeniable. Just ask yourself this, how many anime (or how many anime done by Xebec to be more precise) actually got a prequel/sequel to further expand on the story? Well Fafner is one of those! With a touching story that can make even the toughest man cry a river, this anime is definitely one of the "emo-est" show ever! read more
Nov 21, 2007
The story has a nice flow. Like all mecha series, it got fantastic mechas with specialized specification for each mechas, skills training and conflict between characters, powerful enemies and realiable reason(s) for fighting. Not to mention 'best friend theme' where we can find alot in other anime is also included.The start of this anime which shows peaceful school days for main characters, Kazuki and his friend make a nice twist when the secret of the island and the reason the island is the last line of defense is exposed. As we goes more into the episodes, more secret/mystery will be reveal. I guess that was attracted me the most. The anticipation of 'what's more' and hard to guess 'what next'.
Art and Sound:
I have no comment on the arts and sound due to my limited knowledge. But I would say, the arts and sound is good, really helping in making you enjoying the stories.
All the characters are well made. The relations between the characters are well explained and there's nice development of characters along the series. What interested me the most is, how fair development of characters is given to all cast, not only focusing on the main characters. You will also noticed the variation of attitudes and issues between the casts is brought up in the series.
Overall , I enjoy the series. It's one of the series where I can't put down until I finished it. And I would love to have a rewatch of this anime *if only my sis will return it to me rite nw*. The only reason the anime didn't get a full 10 from me is due to ending which left me a little unsatisfied/sad. But it's the matter of opinion. But really, it's only the last part that I'll leave it to your opinon, the rest of the anime is great!!.
Aug 10, 2009
It's been awhile since I didn't not rewatch this serie and I should do so. This anime is one of my favorite anime of all time for now and I doubt that one day it will dropped from my top ten. I'm doing this review by trying to covince the more people to watch this awesome serie.
Story: Incredible!! It was so well built that when I watch it I was like: EH!!It could happen one day in a not so far future. There's no cliché except for the first episode when Kazuki became the pilot of the Fafner Mark Elf because, currently, is the only one who can do this. Wait... this isn't even a cliché... it's an anime law come to think of it. At the beginning, you may look at this and say: well... it's like kira yamato. He will fight to protect his friends. Fortunately, this is not what will happen, since all of Kazuki's friends will fight one day. People sometime made comparison between Fafner and Evangelion. Yeah... maybe sometime... but I like Faner more than Evangelion (the anime of Evagelion is a little bit disappointing, but the manga is really good). Also some people complain that the show is slow and the battles are boring. Do not forget, there's a lot of character development in that show and I disagree for the battles, there's no stock animation like *cough*Seed Destiny*cough* and they are very thrilling. And the final, just completely amazing and outstanding!!
So for the story: 10/10 (just awesome).
Art: Again, you have Hisashi Hirai doing a lot of characters that we might have seen in his others series. For example: Kazuki is a mix of Shinn Asuka and Athrun Zala in my opinion (not in personnality fortunately). My point is, if you like Hisashi's design like me, you're gonna fall in love with the characters. The mecha are also really special. Like Code Geass, there are really different from the other shows you might have seen. By the way they look, they seem to have no "face". A head but no face. You know what... there a really cool and I can't understand people saying they look like EVA. They are really different.
Sound: This is one of the best soundtrack I ever heard. The choice of instruments are excellent. It fits perfectly with the action and the calm moments. Also, I'm a big fan of Angela's opening and I will say that it's probably my favorite opening of all show that I watched until now.
Character: This is where Fafner gets, in my opinion, 12/10. The characters are very enjoyable and interresting, but they put also some "cliché" in their personality. Do you need to care about this cliché, NO!! By the way it's handle, there's no problem with the characters personnality, because there just to lovable. You have your main character who is really calm and happy with is life at the beginning, but want to end all the terror once he gets into the fight. You have the girl who seem not worthy enough to pilot a mecha, but at the end, is one of the best pilot they could get. You have the guy who hate to fight and doesn't want to be involved. The guy who is scare about the battle, the guy who doesn't give a crap about the pilot, but cares about the Fafner, the little girl who is sick and can't do anything, the girl who wants to become a pilot to avenge her father's death and the guy who wants to fight with a giant robot. But all of them will change during this serie (some of them will die during the show) and this is what is really the best about this anime.
Character: 12/10 (I don't care if the limite is ten).
Enjoyment: In 2 episodes, I became impossible to stop. I watched the serie in 3 days and was really amaze by this show that handle the story and the characters like no one does.
Overall: I won't say it's the best show of all time, since I didn't watch necessarily a lot of anime, but I know how to determine what is a really good show. Watch it, you won't be deceived!!
Overall: 10/10 OUTSTANDING!!!!!! read more
Oct 18, 2007
Soukyuu no Fafner is so much more than just one of thoose Mecha-series. It has a wonderful animation, music and the best characters.
It made me laugh, made me cry, and sometimes it was to exiting I couldn't breath.
The characters are wonderful, and I think they make this anime so great!
The story was a little complicated for me, but still it was good.
I loved the one-hour-last-episode. I remembered I was squeesing my pillow extra hard during that time. read more
Mar 18, 2008
Around half way through the series, Fafner starts to slow down. Here things got better as there was proper character building and story progression. Now when drama hits it can actually affect the viewer. Sadly this happened way too late in a 25 episode series as there was quite a bit of potential in the Fafner universe. Thankfully, Fafner does save itself by creating a satisfying conclusion, albeit a bit rushed. I also felt that Fafner could have improved its ending by providing some kind of epilogue.
Music was one of Fafner’s better qualities, especially the OP/ED. Also, the character designs were the same as Gundam SEED so it quite hard not to make comparisons. However, in terms of animation quality Fafner compares quite favorably. So while the beginning went straight to the action and was a bit confusing it was nevertheless pretty. If you’re a mecha fan then its almost worth watching just for the action scenes. As far as I recall Fafner doesn’t use repeated animation sequences, one of my pet peeves.
Fafner is a fairly entertaining mecha anime, especially for mecha fans. It features good animation and very good music. However, Fafner didn’t provide anything exceptional and doesn’t rise above the pack of mecha anime. In addition, it was severally hurt by inappropriate pacing for a 25 episode series. It is quite sad to see so much wasted potential. Finally a proper epilogue would have greatly benefited the series. read more
Apr 3, 2012
The series start off quite calmly on your average tropical Japanese island, where a group of kids are attending school as if life was nothing unusual. However, soon a Festum (the series' supernatural/extraterrestrial race) attacks the island, and it is not long before it is revealed that the island is in fact a moving fortress, and the last remnants of a Japan annihalated in the human-Festum war. Also, these kids, with Makabe Kazuki as the lead acre, are revealed to be the only characters capable of piloting a series of robots known as the Fafner - and thus mankind's main hope for survival.
From here the plot accelerates, slowly, but steadily. It tends to stumble at points, and it, like many mecha series of its kind, has all these weird concepts and technologies, many of which are hardly, if even, explained. A pill you have to learn to swallow, I guess. The pacing is generally good, though, taking time to relax and develop the characters inbetween the more action-filled sequences.
Unfortunately, it suffers from the "frequently not making sense" syndrome, and from time to time characters say absolutely nonsensical things, or explain concepts in such a manner; I can only assume this is an attmept to be deep and mysterious gone slightly awry.
Its charcaters are a mixed bunch; your average cast of mentally depraved teenagers; most of them having troubles with depressing pasts, extreme self-confidence issues or other such negatively laden emotions and experiences. They're handled respectably, for the most part, and some of their stories are quite fresh and almost touching. Some, however, fall short of the stereotype treshold both in concept and execution, while others are victims of the "repetitive gag" syndrome, and one or two at least are victims of "not making sense" syndrome.
As a whole however, both the characters' conflicts and the plot made me want to keep watching, made me wonder how it would end up in the end. Was I satisfied? Yes, and no. There's no top marks, but it certainly wasn't bad.
The series' soundtrack is very often absent, or quiet - which can be efficacious at times, but at other times I feel it works against it purpose. When there is music, it's generally good; a few outstanding tracks and a lot of generic ones; especially towards the end of the series there are a few very good themes that are used. The opening and ending themes are performed by angela, a band whose msuic I love more and more by the minute. Their vocalist has an amazing voice, making the themes are a true pleasure to listen to! Voice acting is generally solid, with a few outliers in both directions - as with the rest of the show, it is generalyl not mad, but not outstanding either.
Animation-wise, the series tend to be, at times, quite iffy, especially when it comes to character designs and facial reactions. The mecha are animated well and the battles are entertaining to watch. The colouring is a bit bland, but is remedied by good work in the lighting and shading departments.
Thematically it touches upon many subjects that its genre brethren touches upon. Death, and existence. Individuality, and life. The Festum have a habit of asking the seemingly insignificant question "are you there?" - a question with a more metaphysical implication than one would think at first. Can you truly be said to live, to be here, if you have no reason for living? If life holds no intrinsical value for you?
Summarized, I'd say that Fafner is a solid series. It's nothing outstanding, nothing extremely great, and there are mecha series of its kind that are better - but it was enjoyable. The series finale was good. The soundtrack was as dramatic as it needed to be. It had its distinct detracting elements, but nothing you can't swallow and see past, resulting in a fairly enjoyable experience. read more
Nov 13, 2011
It takes a couple episodes to get off the ground but I think Episode 6 is when the series really changes things up, you will see a lot of characters perish throughout the course of this series, but in this episode there is an emotional shock that really changes the tone of the series and from there you start to realize what kind of a world this place is. In fact what is most interesting is that for many of the battles the pilots are almost helpless against the Festum and they only barely manage to escape with their lives.
The Animation for this show for it's time is great, now granted it is only 5 years old, it's pretty standard animation, The Battle Scenes are the biggest key in this series and for the most part they succeed.
The Music in this series is it's biggest strength, Tsuneyoshi Saito and the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra do a beautiful job on the music, of note is the main battle theme "Opening of Nightmare's Gate" which really gets you into the moment the second it starts. As for the Opening and Closing, they are handled by the great Japanese Pop Duo of angela, atsuko (the lead singer) does a phenomenal job on the vocals for both the opening and closing, the closing theme song of this show not to mention the ending animation that accompanies it are among the highlights. I cannot say enough good things about the music for this series, it is definitely within the Top 10 of anime television series scores.
Tow Ubukata who wrote this series and has written Heroic Age, Le Chevalier d'Eon, Mardock Scramble always manages to make his characters written very realistically, he tries his hardest to ensure that the characters are not predictable and frankly there are not many stereotypical anime characters in this show. But I think Ubukata's greatest character writing comes in the creation of the enemy force known as the Festum, Ubukata manages to give you bits and pieces of information about what the Festum are really about, you eventually come to see that the Festum are not exactly evil in nature but basically are shaped by another reason entirely, one that I cannot give away for risk of spoiling it.
This is not a series that is enjoyable per-say, like I enjoy the story-line and learning about the characters through-each episodes but in some ways, this series is bitter-sweet, it's not a happy and not a sad series, you feel somewhat unsatisfied after the ending of it, as of this writing, I have not seen the Fafner Movie but i will probably get around to it and the maybe my feeling of the overall Franchise will change.
Fafner is in someways a different kind of a Mecha series, but it does fall within the range of what I call an Emotional Mecha series, it has melodrama, ethical questions and an enemy that does not understand humanity. read more
Jan 4, 2010
The world of Fafner combines elements of Evangelion (Festum = Angels), Gundam (teenage pilots and "real robot" action), and even Star Wars (Mir = The Force) to create an original flavor. Shades of Huxley's "Brave New World" can be seen in the too-idyllic Tatsumiyajima setting, and the characters themselves spend a lot of time absorbed in philosophical thoughts and arguments. Unfortunately, the plot isn't quite as unique as the setting, and it's a little slow to develop - but in the second half of the series, the plot picks up and the revelations and mecha action come fast and furious.
Artwork and sound are fine, neither excellent nor terrible. The Fafner mecha, with their twisted torsoes and lanky limbs, are a little strange to look at (and we don't get enough good looks at them), but at least the artists dared to be different. I think Hisashi Hirai's character designs are fine, but I'm not sure that everyone feels the same way.
The characters are where Fafner falls a little flat. The supporting cast, though large, is quirky and likeable, but most of them are doomed to die, and only one of their deaths (very early on) really made me feel anything. That particular death, however, is handled very well and brings up another strength - the chemistry among the entire cast is very good, and it's easy to believe that these people are friends, family, and comrades who mean something to each other. However, the main characters - Kazuki and Soushi - come off as bland and unmotivated to me, and Commander Makabe may be the most unqualified and uninspiring commander in all of mecha anime.
That said, Fafner is more than the sum of its parts. The final episodes of the series that tie everything together really deliver, and made me feel like it was worth it to watch that far. If the main characters had shown more personality, and some information that was necessary for understanding the world the characters lived in had been shared earlier, I think Fafner would have been even more engaging. If you need a less-mainstream anime to satisfy your mecha cravings, or if you're feeling a little philosophical, then try Fafner - you'll probably enjoy it. read more
Mar 29, 2011
The thing with this show is that is heavily dependant on character tragedy. It only becomes interesting when somebody dies or starts getting all emotional and not when the aliens are tough to beat or some strategy is needed. In fact, I doubt most people will even remember it for its story. I mean just the opening alone is showing you nothing but slice of life moments and robots shooting. Story? What story? If you have watched NGE or Rahxephon or a few others in a similar fashion, this goes almost unnoticed. But as I said, it is not a bad story. It begins as yet another “aliens attack and teenagers board giant robots to stop them” type of story but it builds a lot around that. The characters are fleshed out a lot, there is teen angst, revelations, deaths, etc.
About the production values. Artwork and animation are good; if you see past the Gundam SEED similarities, it is a decent production. The mecha action is nice and the slice of life moments are well done. I’m not very fond of the CGI used on the glowing aliens but then again it did make them look unearthly, so no worries. The main opening song is simply AMAZING and the rest in BGM and voice acting are good to great as well. What I ended up disliking the most is the generic looks of the characters, which make them hard to remember (aside from being SEED clones).
And now for the breakdown.
ART SECTION: 7/10
General Artwork 2/2 (very good for its time)
Character Figures 1/2 (generic looks that remind you of those in SEED)
Backgrounds 2/2 (wonderful green sceneries on the island)
Animation 1/2 (good but not great; especially during the battles with the CGI aliens)
Visual Effects 1/2 (same as above)
SOUND SECTION: 7/10
Voice Acting 2/3 (good but tends to sound a bit off at times of tension)
Music Themes 3/4 (great OST but besides the opening the rest get forgotten easy)
Sound Effects 2/3 (nothing feels out of place but then again they ain’t special in any way)
STORY SECTION: 7/10
General Scenario 2/2 (very interesting after the aliens’ motives are revealed)
Pacing 1/2 (too slow at first, too fast in the end)
Side Stories/Extra Spices 2/2 (several characters interact with one another)
Believability/Reasoning/Realism 1/2 (it offers scientific explanations but they still feel improbable at points)
Conclusion 1/2 (rushed but solid)
CHARACTER SECTION: 7/10
Presence 1/2 (generic to the point of forgetting them)
Personality 1/2 (same as above)
Backdrop 1/2 (same as above)
Development 2/2 (slow but strong for most)
Catharsis 2/2 (the story ends without leaving any characters with issues)
VALUE SECTION: 5/10
Historical Value 1/3 (never made much impact but it is frequently mentioned)
Rewatchability 2/3 (lots of skipping in the first half but probably high replay in the second)
Memorability 2/4 (generic characters and a story too reminiscent of others)
ENJOYMENT SECTION: 6/10
In all, this is a hit or miss anime actually. Some may love its slow development into an epic battle of survival and teenage angst and others may be simply alienated by its blunt looks and the story which feels like it’s 90% character centered around characters you end up forgetting fast. In fact, this review ended up being short just because there is nothing more to write other than analyzing the characters by name, which would feel as unnecessary extra, and because the story ends up being too secondary to need further analysis despite being interesting. So it mostly comes down to personal taste and less on objective criticism.
VERDICT: 6.5 / 10
I guess originality and memorability are mostly at fault here and not the actual story or the cast.
Neon Genesis Evangelion
Rahxephon read more
Jul 16, 2013
The main draw to the series comes in the form of the teens involved in the battle with the Festum alien threat. The series slowly builds up in revealing the major elements of its plot and how they come to affect the teens who get forced into the conflict with the Festum. Some shocking secrets regarding the true nature of the island home that Kazuki and his friends live on and the purpose of their upbringing on said island come to affect Kazuki and several of his friends throughout the course of the series. Each of the characters have their differing levels of growth and development that come about as a result of these revelations throughout the course of the series. They are also impacted by the realities of war and the nature of their upbringing as the series isn't afraid to make its major characters go through large amounts of suffering or even kill them off. This does result in the series dipping into melodramatics with the characters at a number of points as they angst over their situation. But the series knows when to show a level of restraint with pushing its drama in most instances where it doesn't get too overbearing.
Other elements of the series are a bit of a mixed bag. There's an element to the series focused around tensions between the islanders and the Neo U.N. resistance faction, which the series tries to play up for drama to show their different mentalities of approaching the Festum threat and treatment of those in their factions. But other than Canon's developments, this story element is a bit subpar and didn't feel too significant for me due to the lack of focus on the Neo U.N. The show also gets a bit too heavy at points with dipping into its Norse mythology nods and techno-jargon where the former has no symbolic relevance other than "rule of cool" and the latter can get convoluted to keep up with. While the Festum do get their focus with exploring their motivations, the series never does bother exploring their origins nor much of the past history of how events in Fafner had started thanks to the Festum threat. Also, this series may get too overwhelming with its serious mood for some folks as there aren't many breathers in the drama for one to get a break from the show's serious developments.
On the visual end, Fafner is standard in its quality for a mid-2000s title featuring subdued color tones to accompany its serious mood and a decent amount of detail added to the designs of characters, mecha and scenery. Scenery shots are great on the eyes featuring different parts of the island in gorgeous detail, but character designs are typical for an anime series and the Fafner units aren't too pleasing on the eyes compared to the various Festum they fight. The show has its moments of great battle sequences when the Festum threat begins to intensify in later episodes and multiple Fafner units get dragged into the fight, but doesn't stick out too greatly compared to other shows airing at the time like Gungrave and Hell Girl.
Overall, Fafner does deliver a somewhat solid story with its focus on Kazuki and others as they struggle with learning shocking secrets and making life-or-death decisions as they become further immersed in the war with the Festum. While having its issues and not really breaking the mold for the mecha genre, it is still a decent watch if you can look past the cliches and frequent melodrama that are packed into Fafner. read more
Jan 23, 2013